The Last Friend

The Last Friend Cover

The Last Friend

By Tahar Ben Jelloun; Kevin Michel Cape (Translator); Hazel Rowley (Translator)

New Press, Hardcover, 9781595580085, 186pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2006


"The Last Friend," the new novel from internationally acclaimed author Tahar Ben Jelloun, winner of the 2004 International Dublin/IMPAC award, is a "Rashamon"-like tale of friendship and betrayal set in twentieth century Tangier. Written in Ben Jelloun's inimitable and powerfully direct style, the novel explores the twists and turns of an intense thirty-year friendship between two young men struggling to find their identities and sexual fulfillment in Morocco in the late 1950s, a complex and contradictory society both modern and archaic.

From their carefree university days through their brutal imprisonment and ultimate release, the two rely on each other for physical and psychological survival, forging bonds not easily broken. Each narrator tells his version of the story, painting a vivid portrait of life lived within and in opposition to the moral strictures of North Africa.

Set against a backdrop of repression and disillusionment, "The Last Friend" is a tale of loss of innocence and a nation's coming of age.

About the Author
Winner of the 1994 Prix Maghreb, Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in 1944 in Fez, Morocco, and emigrated to France in 1961. A novelist, essayist, critic, and poet, he is a regular contributor to "Le Monde," "La REpubblica," "El PaIs," and "Panorama." His novels include "The Sacred Night," which received the Prix Goncourt in 1987, and "Corruption "(The New Press).

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